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The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
January 8, 2015     The Woodville Republican
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January 8, 2015

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Page 4 The Woodville Republican, Thursday, January 8, 2015 Oq FEEDING BIRDS -- Consistently providing nutri- tious seeds and nuts to songbirds in the winter- time can offer humans a closer view of these wild animals. -- Photo by Marina Denny Feeding Wildlife In Winter Is Not Really A Good Idea by Jessica Tegt Wildlife Extension Specialist Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture Mississippi State University As the days get colder and food sources for wildlife become scarce, people worry about wild animals being able to survive the winter without supplemental feed- ing. Even in the relatively mild Mississippi winters, wildlife food sources go dor- mant and temperatures can dip below freezing -- espe- cially at night. Feeding wildlife during winter can be a very Satisfy- ing and rewarding experi- ence for humans. Many wild animals are opportunistic e ff rs, visit a site v~ere fo~t~i~ "5~nly avail- awe. In turn, these wildlife sightings can be enjoyable for people. However, it is important to realize that healthy ani- mals are adapted for surviv- ing the colder winter months. Feeding wildlife can actually cause problems. Over thousands of years, wild animals have devel- oped physical and behavioral adaptations, such as thick coats, fat reserves and hiber- nation, to help them survive the winter. Deer rely on fat stores for up to 40 percent of their energy. If animals are healthy when winter arrives, most are able to survive per- sistent ice and cold weather. Even in well-functioning ,mtural ecosystems, howev- er, some animals may die. The winter season plays a role in keeping wildlife popu- lations in balance with avail- able habitat. Feeding these animals can invite unwanted problems. Large amounts of readily available food cause desired wildlife to congregate. This, in turn, attracts coyotes, wild dogs and other predators, edong with their potential to spread disease. Nuisance wildlife, such as rodents, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums and fox- es, will also come to areas where food is available. Deer may become habituated to a residential area and could over-browse local vegetation and ornamental shrubbery. Providing food also en- courages movement of ani- mals across roads and high- ways, increasing the poten- tial for wild//fe-vehicle colli- sions. There are other ways that people can help wildlife dur- ing winter months without negative effects. The best way to help is to maintain high-quality habitat plant- ings year-round that will offer shelter and protection. A managed area with forest openings, mature soiLvood wintering areas, young hard- wood stands and nut-produc- ing trees such as oak and beech is a great environment for wildlife species that need to reduce movements and in- crease cover.,: ,;..: ~, ..... ,~.-. ....... Landowners can develop a management plan that uses wildlife and its habitat as guiding objectives. Sus- tainable timber harvesting is compatible with protect- ing winter deer habitat. Also, landowners can recognize the role of hunters as a tool for ldlife biologists to regu- late deer population densi- ties. Feeding songbirds through the winter is an ac- ceptable practice for land- owners. Providing nutri- tious seeds, nuts and fatty suet through the cold spells in Mississippi will enable birds to maintain their body weights and temperatures. It is also enjoyable to watch birds visit feeders and inter- act with each other. Keep feeders clean and fifll, and be mindful that oth- er critters -- especially squir- rels and rodents -- may also try to obtain food from the feeders. Place feeders in a cat-safe location to minimize bird predation. Finally, pro- vide fresh water for birds. They can become dehydrated in winter when water sourc- es freeze. :)iN:BUSINESS SINCE,J952,: All offers are subject to credit approval, Valid credit or debit card is required to subscribe, Offer is only valid to new subscribers for residential satellite TV service. by Keri Collins Lewis MSU Ag Communications Despite low prices for many commodities, the over- all projected totals for Mis- sissippi's crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year and essential- ly match the record set in 2013. John Michael Riley, agri- cultural economist with the Mississippi State Univer- sity Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014's agricultural produc- tion values, excluding gov- ernment payments, is over $7.7 billion. "]'he row crops sector of the agricultural economy took a bit of a hit, but there were pockets of that sector that saw improvements, such as cotton and rice," Riley said. "On the bright side, the livestock sector is doing well with all three seg- ments of that industry -- beef cattle, dairy cattle and hogs -- showing double-digit improvements, percent- age wise, from the previous year," Poultry... Poultry remained solidly in first place on the list, with a $3.13 billion projected total value. At $2.88 billion, broil- ers showed a slight increase from 2013. Egg values were up nearly 10 percent, re- flecting strong demand and price. Forestry and soybeans ... Forestry, the state's No. 2 commodity, saw a 13.8 percent increase in value, driven by an improvement in housing starts. At $1.28 billion in 2014, the state's forest harvest value has increased 48 percent since 2009, when the effects of the recession first began to hit the industry. James Henderson, an associate forestry professor with the MSU Extension Service, said he expects this positive trend to continue. "Expectations are for a nearly 20 percent increase in total U.S. housing starts in 2015 as more first-time buyers enter the housing market," Henderson said. Soybeans, Mississippi's top row crop, remained in third place with a prelimi- nary estimated value of $1.17 billion. Producers har- vested about 200,000 more acres than the previous year, for a total of about 2.19 million harvested acres. The projected yield of 52 bushels per acre, if realized, would set a record. %Ve saw a much lower price for soybeans than in 2013," Riley said. "Howev- er, the second largest crop ever produced in the state offset most of the drop in prices." Looking to 2015, Riley said the current price points for corn, cotton and soybeans are relatively equal. "Right now, the produc- ers' agronomic needs, where crops fit in rotation and what works from a soil nu- trient standpoint, will drive acres in 2015. There's no clear winner from a price standpoint," he said. Cotton ... Cotton moved up a spot in the rankings to No. 4, due to a combination of high yields and increased acre- age. The estimated value for this year's cotton crop is $403.6 million. Darrin Dodds, cotton spe- cialist with the MSU Exten- sion Service, said producers planted 420,000 acres in cot- ton in 2014, up from 295,000 last year -- an increase of about 47 percent. "Like last year, we were late planting because of cool wet weather," Dodds said. "We were worried about time on the back end to make a crop, but fortu- nately, we had a long fall and got some hot weather in September, which helped tremendously." Dodds said yields were high, but not as high as the 2013 records. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the crop at 1,143 pounds of cotton lint per acre, and last year we were at 1,203 pounds. But anytime you can average 1,143 across the state, that's a pretty good yield," he said. Cattle and corn ... Mississippi producers cut back on corn plant- ing significantly in 2014, which ultimately resulted in an interesting change in the typical ranking of the state's commodities: cattle overtook corn to grab the No. 5 spot. The estimated produc- tion value for cattle is $396.7 million, up 33 percent from 2013. Riley said cattle re- main in short supply at r drought-inspired sell-offs. With consumer demand remaining strong and feed costs remaining low, the out- look for 2015 looks promis- ing. "Mississippi producers dropped from 830,000 to 520,000 harvested acres of corn and saw about a $1.73 drop per bushel in price. With a current projected price of $3.62 per bushel, it's the lowest price we've seen since 2006." Riley said the 55.3 per- cent drop in corn from 2013's values was more of an issue of lower acres than lower prices, but both combined for corn to have its lowest overall value since 2009, at $349.6 million. The project- ed yield of 186 bushels per acre, ffrealized, would be an all-time high. Catfish and rice ... While the catfish indus- try has declined for several years, production has been steady since the significant decrease in water acres in 2010-2011. "The price has come up 20 cents per pound based on the lower supply, and that has kept those who decided to stay in the industry go- ing," Riley said. "rhe drop in soybean price has helped this industry as well." Soybean meal is a key ingredient in catfish feed. Total production of cat- fish is down 13.4 million pounds in 2013 to 156.9 mil- lion total pounds in 2014. The combined total value for catfish, stockers, fingerlings and fry is $197.3 million, up 11.1 percent, which puts catfish in the No. 7 spot. Rice was a positive segment in the row crops sector in 2014. Prices and acres were up, which drove the value up significant- ly. Producers harvested 190,000 acres with a yield of 7,200 hundredweight and a price of $13.68 per hundredweight. Rice clinched the No. 8 spot with an estimated value of $174 million. Hogs and specialty crops "" Hog producers saw a 21.5 percent increase this year, with an estimated produc- tion value ofabeut $153 mil- lion. This moved hogs from No. 11 to No. 9 in 2014. "Short supply due to the porcine epidemic diar- rhea virus that was causing piglets to die was the big- gest factor, so we had an overall drop in production across the U.S.," Riley said. "The smaller supply caused the price increase. Missis- sippi producers increased their hog inventories a few years ago, and while they've pulled back a little because of the virus, inventories are much higher than in previ- ous years." Rounding out the rank- ings at No. 10 is the spe- cialty crops industry, which includes nursery and orna- mental plants. This com- modity moved up two spots this year in spite of a 2.3 percent decline, with a pre- liminary value of $113.6 mil- lion. Hay and Sweet potatoes Hay fell three spots to No. 11, with a $105.3 million production value, down 11.4 percent. The No. 12 crop, sweet potatoes, saw increased acres and prices, resulting in a preliminary crop value of $96.2 million. This is a 68.1 percent increase over 2013 and the highest value in five years. "More acres were plant- ed this year, and they had a good crop and a projected higher yield based on the national figures, which are up," Riley said. "Missis- sippi's price last year was $16 and is up to $21 per hundred pounds in 2014, so all things are good for sweet potatoes., Other 2014 crop val- ues and their percentage changes compared to 2013 are wheat at $66.9 million, down 57.2 percent; milk at $44.6 million, up 10.1 per- cent; grain sorghum at $39.3 million, up 37.8 percent; and peanuts at $20.8 million, down 30.7 percent. . : Fin/il figures v~ill be available in May 2015. Unanimous Vote Keeps BOS... (Continued from Page l) W. E. Blain & Sons, Natchez, $834,826.15 Dickerson & Bow- en, Inc., Brookhaven, $1,020,895.40 Quality Design & Con- struction, Wakefield, La., $1,546,887.38. After examination by Mississippi State Aid Dis- trict Engineer Chris Dixon, he recommended that the board accept the low bid offer from W. E. Blain at $834,826.15. On motion by Nettles and a second by Hollins, the board voted unanimously to approve the road maintenance which will be done on a number of roads all over Wilkinson County. Administrator Lewis said that the county has put to- gether a number of docu- ments which have been sub- mitted with a letter to the Mississippi Development Authority asking them to reconsider the freezing of grant fimding for the com- pleted bridge replacement project on the Pond-Ft. Ad- ams Road in the Second District. "MDA froze our funding because the county is be- neer Doug Wimberly an- nounced that he had re- ceived final approval on the county's request to be allowed to spend the resid- ual funds of $70,000 from the Sam Field Spillway reconstruction project on improvements on the Jack- son Point Road which is the only access road to the spill- way. Wimberly announced that the money must be spent by January 24, 2015, or it will have to be re- turned to MDA. "The county needs to or- der the limestone and clay gravel for the road and spend the money by Janu- ary 24 or you will lose it," Wimberly stated. On motion by Hollins and a second by Nettles, the board voted 5-0 to proceed with the purchase of the re- quired materials. Sheriff Jackson asked that the board reappoint LaShonda Grayson as the arson investigator for the WCSO. This motion passed unanimously. Sheriff Jackson stated that he was experiencing an erosion and washout hind two years on audits of problem behind the WCSO the county's finances," said building on Hwy. 61 South. Lewis. %Ve are asking them "Someone needs to come to reconsider because this and see what can be done to project was near comple- stop the erosion." Jackson tion because the MDA had stated. approved the grant funds At the request of Super- prior to their freeze." visor Bankston for permis- County Assistant Engi- sion to purchase a pickup | CONCORDIA METAL INC, __ " OPEN MONDAY, FRIDAY.. 7:30 A.M. ' 4:30 P.M. 3Almninum Cans " Copper '~ ~i~ FERR~;)AY - VIDALIA HWV rt ._ 3 s/33e-s2ts [-,o- - 1.800.7aa-6a04 Natchez Salvage & Parts, Inc. Why new when will USED AUTO & TRUCK PARTS B=y Here! Pay Here! USED AUTOS 601-442-3626 or Toll Free 1-800-759-0631 truck for his district, Hol- lins made a motion and Seal seconded, to approve the request. The matter passed 5-0. Supervisor Nettles voiced his anger over illegal dump- ing in his district. "As fast as I clean up il- legal dump sites, some- one comes right back and dumps again," said Net- tles. "I have found names in these dumps and have turned them over to the sol- id waste enforcement offi- cer. Nothing is being done." Administrator Lewis re- sponded, '%Ve have never passed our solid waste or- dinance. I just found out that the Mississippi De- partment of Environmental Quality has approved our ordinance, except for a few minor changes. I suggest that you allow me to make the noted changes and then hold a public hearing at your next meeting so the public will have a chance to see the ordinance before it goes into effect. Once .it is passed, I can guarantee you that you will see results. This ordinance gives us several avenues to deal will illegal dumping including some stiff penalties." After the solid waste pub- lic hearing at the Monday, January 26, meeting, the board will take action to ap- prove the ordinance. Purchase Clerk Christ: mas issued a warning to county employees. "I left my cell phone in my office last Wednesday, December 31, and some- one removed it," Christmas stated. "I was lucky enough to find out who took it, and I got it back. We need to beef up the security in the court- house." The next regular meet- ing of the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors will be at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, January 26, in the board room of the Wilkinson County Courthouse. McComb, MS HUNTING LAND NEEDEDg! Have qualified buyers looking for hunting land. Several 40ac- 100ac clients, 500ac- 1000ac clients, and many in between, Call Alan 601-249-8436 or email: alan@ 980 U. S. Hwy. 61 A,,, Woodville 601-888-6053 Licensed in MS & LA --- Trane Dealer ._ We Accet ELECTRICAL HEATING & COOLING REFRIGERATION PLUMBING Stand-By Cetzerator6" Tanklez Waterlleater Appliance Repair Technicians: Charles Smith Brian McKlemurry & Mark Sanders-